LockState Smart Locks Bricked, Left Stupid And Locked In OTA Update Debacle

smart unlock
Sometimes, smart home technology can automate seemingly mundane tasks to make our lives easier. Smart thermostats, smart light switches, and other devices can be programmed to activate with a touch of a button, the sound of our voice, or automatically with schedules or geofencing settings. But while smart devices have the ability to make our lives easier, they can be downright hellish to deal with when things go wrong. Take the company LockState, for example.

LockState manufactures a line of RemoteLock smart locks that can be used by residential homeowners and businesses. They are particularly popular (and approved) for the Airbnb Host Assist program, which allows a host to generate codes for guests to use when they check-in. It’s an incredible convenience feature that allows guests to forgo having to drop by an intermediary location to retrieve a key before entering a premises.

However, a rather routine over-the-air (OTA) firmware update for some LockState smart locks instead rendered their remote functionality useless. It all boils down to firmware for the 7000i RemoteLock being sent mistakenly to 6000i models.

smart lock

The update, which was pushed to the devices last week, resulted in a “fatal error” that disabled the devices. Unfortunately, the fatal error also meant that the smart locks could no longer connect to LockState’s servers, meaning that they cannot be remotely fixed.

While the keypad and physical keys can still be used to unlock and lock the devices, the remote management features are toast. Further confounding matters is the process that customers have to go through to return to a fully functioning state. LockState is providing these two options:

Option 1

The back portion of the lock will need to be returned to LockState so that the software on the lock can be updated.  Total time to fix and return: 5-7 days

Option 2

LockState can ship a replacement interior lock for you to replace.  You can then send the faulty lock back to LockState.  Total lead time: 14 - 18 days.

Neither one is exactly appealing or fast enough for those that need immediate access to their properties.

“We will pay for the shipping of your lock both to LockState and the return back to you within the continental US,” wrote LockState in an email to affected customers. “We will also be providing you with 1 year of free service for the LockState Connect Portal for these locks.

“We realize the impact that this issue may have on you and your business and we are deeply sorry.  Every employee and resource at LockState is focused on resolving this for you as quickly as possible.”

According to ThreatPost, roughly 500 customers were affected by the failed firmware update. A total of 200 Airbnb customers were directly affected by the fiasco.